Earlier this year, we caught Hippo Campus in Philadelphia on tour with Night Riots and The Mowgli’s at Union Transfer. Since then, the band has had a busy summer playing festivals like Lollapalooza, Summer Set and The Great Escape Festival in Brighton. Now, they are headlining a Fall Tour which stops in Philadelphia tonight for a sold-out show at The Barbary. Read our interview below and don’t miss their show tonight!
You all went to Performing Arts High School together. Is that how you met and formed the band?
Zach Sutton (bass): “Yeah, well we all met at a performing arts High School, like you said, in St. Paul. It’s called The St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, David, our designer as well. We all met there. Jake and I were in one band and these guys in another and there was sort of a rivalry between the two. That was going on for two years and then at the end of our high school career we’re like ‘Hey! I like what you’re working with. Let’s team up!’ Put the guns down, so to speak, and work together. Bing Bang boom! Almost two years later, here we are.”
What was it like to start writing together at first? How do you write together now?
Whistler Allen (drums): “I don’t even remember the first time we practiced. I think it took a while for all four of us to end up in the room together. But, Zach, Nathan and Jake all live right next to each other and I kind of live in the outskirts. Actually, they live in the outskirts of the city and I live in the city. But yeah, it took a little while for all four of us to get together, but once we did it was really easy to write stuff. It was not difficult. It just clicked. That’s kind of how it’s been ever since then. We’ve had our struggles in the practice room but usually it ends with something cool coming out.”
Do you guys just jam and see how it goes?
Nathan Stocker (guitar): “Yeah, sometimes it’s a jam. Sometimes one of us will have an idea then bring it to the table and then we all work on it together. It’s very collaborative.”
How did you get discovered/signed?
Jake Luppen (vocals): “We actually got ‘discovered’ if you will at this weird, sort of, I mean it’s a cool venue in Minneapolis. But it was kind of a weird show. I’m pretty sure it was on a Wednesday night or something like that about a year ago?” The boys chime in the date. He continues, “December 14! The lighting guy for Trampled by Turtles, they’re a band from Minnesota who’s done very well. He was there, just happened to be running lights and he saw us and really had faith in what we were doing and really loved what he heard. He kind of passed our name along to our managers now, Jeff and Christian and they heard it and they flew out from New York to talk to us and it was a good relationship. Ever since then it’s been steady up and up. Everything’s been great.”
When you put the album together did you already have songs already written?
Jake Luppen (vocals): “Yeah we probably had, at the point of writing Bashful Creatures, I think we had about 20 songs that we’d written? Probably around 20. ‘Bashful’ was like the newest songs that we had written. We wrote those very shortly before going into the studio, over the course of that summer, then we recorded it in September.”
Zach Sutton (bass): “Little Grace” was the first single off [Bashful Creatures] was the only one that was written about a year before we recorded it. That one just happened to stick with it and fit in.” 3:40
How has tour been so far?
Nathan Stocker (guitar): “Some say it’s been like a rodeo/circus combo. Shark week…sort of vibe. It’s been a blast and a half. Really busy, really fun. Hard to sleep, hard to eat. But you know, we ride the ups and downs as if this were a roller coaster.”
What do you guys do for fun on tour?
It’s unanimous. Jake Luppen (vocals): “Sleep. We sleep.”
Zach Sutton (bass): “Professional sleepers over here.”
Nathan Stocker (guitar): “Oh yeah, actually Jake and I are really good at sleeping. If you want lessons, we do those…$20 a minute.”
Hippo Campus play an early show tonight at The Barbary with Bad Bad Hats. Don’t sleep on this one! Doors are at 6:30PM, this is an early show with two incredible bands playing, don’t be late.
To find tickets and more information about when Hippo Campus is playing a city near you, click here! If you go to a Hippo Campus show, make sure to tag us in your photos and videos [at]mylifeinsound!
Check out Hippo Campus’ new single “South” and photos from their show at Union Transfer below: